MPs worried about threats from aspirant MPs
MANZINI – Members of Parliament have expressed concern on people who attack them because they have dreams to go to Parliament.
Siphofaneni MP Gundwane Gamedze, who was speaking on behalf of MPs at Bheki Mkhonta’s memorial service yesterday, said it was worrying when an MP would die in a suspicious manner at a time when there were utterances made by people who are vying for his position in the next term.
The service was held at the Divine Healing Ministries owned by Bishop Nash Shongwe.
"Some people have openly crossed their fingers and asked if some of us would still be alive by 2013, so if a colleague dies in this manner you begin to recall the utterances and become worried," he said.
He said if a person wants to go to Parliament, they must mend their ways with the people of their constituencies, and not attack MPs in their individual capacity.
He said people should mind their words to remove any suspicion when such things like sudden deaths happen.
"Bheki for instance, did not elect himself into Parliament, but he was elected by the people, so aspirants should work to convince the people to elect them," he said.
"Parliament has lost a great man in Bheki. I would like to warn his family, especially his wife, about people who will come to influence you and tell you things about him.
"You must ignore those things because they will only add to your devastation and will not help you in any way," he said.
To Mkhonta’s father he advised him against going about trying to find out how Bheki died.
Gamedze said God knows about the whole thing.
He prayed for a safe trip for parliamentarians who will travel to attend Mkhonta’s funeral tomorrow.
"May I also warn uninvited people not to come for other motives at the funeral, but to stick to the rules that will be dictated by the Mkhonta family," he said.
He sent condolences to the Petersons for the loss of their son, Lucky, who died in the same car accident as Mkhonta.
"We have worked with Peterson, we know him and he was a talented man, but he has left with his talent," he said.
Gamedze wished Senator Bhutana Dlamini and Shongwe a speedy recovey.
Others parliamentarians who were spotted include Minister Hlob’sile Ndlovu, Johanne Sho-ngwe and Thandi Shongwe.
Mkhonta died along the N4 Road when the car they were travelling in, a VW Amaro, collided with a truck near Zeerust in South Africa.
They were returning from a three-day business trip in Botswana together with businessman Lucky Peterson who also died, Senator Bhutana Dlamini and Nonhlanhla Sho-ngwe from SIPA survived the accident.
Wife’s emotional goodbye
MANZINI – Bheki Mkhonta’s wife, Bonisile (nee) Dlamini, read out her final message to her late husband.
Through her sister Patience she said, "Daddy, you were everything to us as a family, you were a source and a provider. We thank you so much for that. With your love we will always miss you.
"Awukagcini ngatsi ngeku-sitsandza, but you extended your love to everyone, so we ended up sharing you with everyone else.
"We will dearly miss you, especially Siphokazi, whom you so much loved. She would always wait for you to return home even in the late night, you would find her still awake. Hamba kahle Mhlu-ngwane.
We shall cherish you forever. Happy moments are gone, but the one promise that I make to you and to my saviour is sitawuhlala etinyatselweni takhe Sima-kadze kuze kube phakadze.
A representative of Mkho-nta’s maternal family said the Sukati’s and the Dlamini’s were at a loss of words at what happened.
"We have lost a nephew who had humility. When we got the news, we did not get details, so we went to Zeerust where the accident happened on a fact finding mission," he said
He said when they got the details they were shocked to learn how the accident happened. "The sight of the car was unbelievable. We are grateful that some of the passengers came out alive," he said.
He said this was not the end of the relationship between the two families as they have to continue to support each other in raising the children.
Petros Ndlangamandla, who spoke on behalf of the Mkhonta family said, "We woke up on a normal day and received the sad news. Bheki’s father was returning from church when he got the news. Bheki, although he hailed from Nhlala community at Kontshi-ngila, he belonged to the whole world."
He sent condolences to all chiefs under the Mtsambama Constituency who were working together with Mkhonta.
... son to take after his father
MANZINI – "I will walk on my father’s footsteps."
These were the words of Thabo Mkhonta, one of the late Mtsambama MP Bheki Mkhonta’s children. He said these words during his father’s memorial service yesterday.
Thabo asked his nine siblings, three sisters and six brothers, to do like their father would do. He said although his father was not rich, he was able to provide for them.
"We may have been a burden because we are many in number, but none of us has ever been expelled from school due to unpaid school fees," he said.
Thabo said he could say a thousand good things about his father, but the main one is that he has never failed his family.
"I would like to thank the Correctional Services’ authorities and all other people who have supported us during this sad time," he said.
Indlovukazi’s message to the Mkhonta family
MANZINI – The Indlovukazi has called for the widow of Bheki Mkhonta to be like a hen and take care of her children.
Speaking through Senator Mavovo Mkhonto, the Queen Mother said, "Working with Mkhonta was like being borrowed oxen that are taken just as the rains begin when you are planning of using them in the fields."
Mkhonto said Mkhonta once had an accident on his way to a meeting at Orion in Pigg’s Peak. "He was held into the car by the necktie. When I arrived at the scene I broke the window, tore the necktie and called the police and an ambulance," he said.
He said he never realised it was him who helped him, but got to know when he paid him a visit at the hospital.
He said Mkhonta was both a volunteer at Philani and also a member of the executive committee.
Botswana, Limpopo send condolences
MANZINI – The governments of Botswana and the Limpopo Province wrote letters to the local government and Parliament over the loss of Bheki Mkhonta.
A letter written by the CEO of a Limpopo entity equivalent to SIPA read, "We have learnt of the passing on of members of the delegation on April 29, 2012. The province is honoured to have hosted Mkhonta during SIPA’s visit. We wish those that are injured a speedy recovery.
Stephen Lang, the vice president sent condolences to the family and government from founder of Limkokwing University. We pray Jehovah gives his wife and children strength. We too are affected by Mkhonta’s passing away."
The Swazi delegation had breakfast at the university before they left that country.
He said, "I met Bheki for the first time, it was as if I had known him for years. He was open-hearted. He even told me about his football playing days and said he went to play in Botswana.
"The loss is not only to the family, but also to this part of Africa. He had a vision of bringing people together.
"He went to Botswana to share his own ideas. We learnt a lot from him. He was a great man and he loved his country.
"He wanted to share what he learnt with the people of this country. We should remember certain words in the Bible, What God does, we as human beings may not understand" he said.